My journey with Music and Altertunes

Hey there !

Its been close to 5 years now, since I first plucked the guitar strings and close to 3 years since I started working in the field of Music Information Retrieval and Audio Processing Technologies. Overall I can say that, the better half of my life has been ruled by Music in the past 5 years or so, and it continues to do so in the form of Altertunes.com.

Launched on 1 April, 2008, Altertunes is a social utility that helps people find their favorite music more easily and efficiently. It all started about 6 months back in October 2007, when I was given some training sessions on Web Application Servers. I was then introduced to the terms like Tomcat, Apache, IIS and other web application servers. Though the training sessions got over in a few days, it was a new beginning for me. I was so awed by these technologies that, my next 6 months were fully occupied by them.

Though my job profile didn’t demand any knowledge in the field of Web Development, out of interest, I started working on developing my skill sets in web development. It took me about 1 and a half months to know the basics of web development and how the things work on web. Finally, I thought of combining my knowledge of Music Information Retrieval and Web Development together, and came up with Altertunes.

The basic idea behind Altertunes was to come up with technologies that will allow its users to manage their music online, access them from any part of the world, and share their favorite songs and artists with other people in a trusted and secure environment. With Altertunes, one can explore this vast trove of music to their heart’s content. One just needs to drop the name of one of their favorite artists into Altertunes and rest is handled by it. Altertunes will quickly scan it entire music database, to find songs musically similar to the user’s choice. Then the user can just sit back and enjoy, create playlists, see who else on Altertunes is having a similar music taste, what all playlists others have made. To build the music meshup in Altertunes, I used API’s from AudioScrobbler and YouTube.

In future, I look forward to developing browser-based tools and applications which will help users manage their music from their desktops, get real time recommendations and related stuff which current music recommendation systems like last.fm and musicstrands fail to provide.